X5150 Multi-Function Printer
Review

On June 19, 2003, in printer, Review, Scanner, by Tim Robertson

X5150 Multi-Function Printer
Company: Lexmark

Price: $149.00 US
http://www.lexmark.com

As the official reviewer of all things Lexmark here at MyMac.com, I have had the opportunity to use a variety of their printers over the last three years. And while I have, for the most part, enjoyed using them all, as well as being generally impressed with their product line, I have to say that the latest X5150 has gone above and beyond what I have come to expect from a Lexmark product.

The X5150 is a multi-function printer, scanner, and copier. It connects to your Mac or PC via USB, and comes in an attractive silver and black plastic case. The physical look of the printer is very elegant, though I do wish it came in an iMac inspired white or, better, a clear plastic. The built-in LCD display gives you access to many of the copiers functions without the need to touch your computer.

The X5150 will hold up to 100 pieces of paper in its tray. Output speed for black is 16 prints a minute, though I found 10 was the top I could get. Color prints spat out at around 7 prints a minute. Not bad for a home printer, but speed is not the main reason to purchase this printer.

During testing over the last month, I only had one real problem with the X5150. Occasionally, the paper would slightly tilt while printing. This would cause my prints to skew at an odd angle. This was a reoccurring problem, with a variety of different paper stock, number of pieces of paper in the loading tray, and types of prints. I have not heard of any other users having this skew problem with the X5150, so it could simply be I have a defective printer.

The X5150Õs best feature, in my opinion, is the ability to make a copy without any control from the computer itself. In fact, you could plug the X5150 into a power outlet and use it as a copy machine, without the need of a computer. Very, very handy feature, and my biggest complaint with the other two multi-function printers I have reviewed from Lexmark.

Print quality for color prints is fantastic. Using both Adobe Photoshop and iPhoto, I found the color output for both full size letter page and post-card size prints great. While the X5150 will not do full-bleed, this is a printer with the home user in mind, not those needing a post-script printer. Keep that in mind if you are using Quark Express, for example.

Scanning was easily done using the propriety “Lexmark All In One Center” program. When you install the Lexmark software, it also installs an Adobe Photoshop plug-in TWAIN, so that you can scan directly into Photoshop without using the stand-alone Lexmark program.

Scans created using the X5150 were all fine, as the scanner can scan up to 19200 DPI at 24-bit color. While I donÕt have a need to scan anything above 300dpi for the most part, it is nice having this feature.

The copier mode works well with or without the computer. I found making a scan simply by pushing the “scan” button on the X5150 itself. You can also reduce or enlarge your scan using various sizes, such as 200% large, fit to page, etcÉ You can also change the quality of the scan, from normal, quick (not a nice looking scan) all the way up to Best. Nice features, all.

Specifications:
Dual head thermal inkjet, 2400 x 1200 dpi resolution. 8.5 x 11.7 inches CCD flatbed scanner with 600 x 2400 dpi resolution. Energy Star compliant. Width: 18.5 inches. Height: 9.4 inches. Depth: 15.5 inches. Weight: 14.5 pounds. 1-Year Warranty. Supports both Mac OS X and Mac OS 9.

Conclusion:
I am pleased with the X5150, and I think you will to. It is a winner in form, function, and price.

MacMice Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Tim Robertson

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